As we take new steps towards the New Year 2020, the technological revolution seems to be unstoppable. Cloud Computing is still in the race among other emerging and disruptive technologies like Blockchain, IoT, Quantum Computing, Machine Learning & AI, and many more.
And, not just that, Cloud Computing itself is reforming from traditional migration specific features to a multi-cloud spin. The infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) combat has been largely between Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. But new technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence have opened up the field to other players like Alibaba, Oracle, and Salesforce.com. The hybrid shift by players such as IBM, which acquired Red Hat recently, could change the landscape in the coming years. Software-as-a-service giants may increasingly run your enterprise’s operations via expansion by 2020.
Several organizations are adopting cloud backup and recovery techniques to prevent increased operational costs. Cloud computing is driving IT spending overall. For instance, Gartner predicts “By 2021, over 75% of midsize and large organizations will have adopted a multi-cloud and/or hybrid IT strategy with as-a-service models fueling everything from data center spending to enterprise software”.
A recent RightScale survey found that cloud cost optimization is a big priority for large companies and this is leading them to opt for container and virtual machine adoption, tools for machine learning, artificial intelligence, and analytics and Serverless functions.
IBM is looking to manage AI and cloud services across multiple clouds. Microsoft has moved towards converging license, subscription and usage models from software vendors. Public cloud customers are using more than one cloud service provider like by pairing up AWS and Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform. As you can see, there is an aim to build the infrastructure management horizon across multi-cloud platforms in the coming years.
Let’s look at how few of these Cloud leaders are stacked up, the hybrid market, multi-cloud adoption, the SaaS players along with their latest strategic moves and trends in their offerings.
IaaS and PaaS – Winning the Race
Amazon Web Services
- 2018 Annual revenue: $25.65 billion
- Annual revenue run rate based on the latest quarter: $33 billion based on second-quarter results.
AWS is the leader in infrastructure-as-a-service and moving up the stack quickly. AWS cloud services are offering a wide range of infrastructure services – compute, storage, database, developer tools, security & compliance, management & governance, along with feature-rich services such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things. It also extends its services to cryptography & PKI, robotics, end-user management, augmented reality, analytics, application integration, blockchain, media services, business intelligence, media services, customer engagement, and many more. These services help users to build sophisticated applications with flexibility, scalability, and agility.
When it comes to developers and the ecosystem, no one can beat AWS!
AWS has partnered with VMware, C3, and SAP which are helping developers to grow the ecosystem. Through its VMware partnership, AWS also has a strong hybrid cloud strategy that can meet enterprise needs in multiple ways. AWS is giving a tough competition to Oracle on databases. There is a move to launch a fully managed document database like MongoDB. Analytics and forecasting may be one more area worth watching for AWS. It has won deals with Volkswagen, Ford, Lyft, and Gogo.
In the first two quarters of 2019, Amazon’s profits were again powered by AWS. Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky says AWS now has an annualized run rate of over $30 billion.
The big keep getting bigger!
The most popular AWS services are:
- Amazon Virtual Private Cloud
- AWS Data Transfer
- Amazon Simple Storage Service
- Amazon DynamoDB
- Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
- AWS Key Management Service
- Amazon Simple Notification Service
- Amazon Relational Database Service
- Amazon Route 53
- Amazon Simple Queue Service
- AWS CloudTrail
- Amazon Simple Email Service
AWS’s fastest-growing services are:
- Amazon Athena
- Amazon Elastic Container Service
- Amazon MQ
- AWS OpsWorks
- Amazon SageMaker
- AWS Certificate Manager
- AWS Glue
- Amazon GuardDuty
- Amazon Macie
(source: 2nd Watch)
Microsoft Azure Cloud Services
- Commercial cloud annual revenue run rate as of 1st Quarter2019: $44 billion
- Estimated Azure annual revenue run rate:$11 billion
Microsoft Azure is in the top two globally with its broadest range of cloud services, its hybrid strategy, and its vertical-industry. Microsoft’s cloud business includes – Azure, Office 365 enterprise subscriptions, Dynamics 365, and LinkedIn services. Microsoft’s strong enterprise heritage, software stack, and data center tools like Windows Server give this cloud platform a hybrid approach. It has embraced Linux, containers, and Kubernetes with a strong handshake and now supplies considerable support for those open source products.
With integrated, highly-secured network Microsoft serves around 95% of Fortune 500 businesses across the globe. It also provides 70+ compliance offerings in 54 global Azure regions. It helps the users to reduce the marketing cycles by delivering feature-rich solutions faster with more than 100 end-to-end services.
Notably, Microsoft has won over large retailers like Gap and Fruit of the Loom. At Build 2019, Microsoft rolled out a series of updates for developers. It focused on larger cloud deals with $10 million-plus Azure agreements. It outlined everything from cognitive services based on Cortana to tools to making bots and services for IoT, machine learning and artificial intelligence. AzureStack has been the new cloud-meets-data center effort.
Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
- Annual revenue run rate: $8 billion
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) boasts “One Cloud, Endless Possibilities”. It includes G-Suite, intelligent and transformative tools to transform digital businesses. Machine Learning & AI are Google Cloud’s USP. Google Cloud’s strategy combines with proven enterprise software sales techniques that revolve around industry-specific use cases. It offers Serverless architecture to deliver improved developer productivity and help focus on great applications.
Google Cloud Platform has been winning larger deals in the year 2019 and is seen as a solid counterweight to AWS and Microsoft Azure. It is supporting many financial services across the world.
At Google Cloud Next, Anthos – Google Cloud’s big multi-cloud and a hybrid cloud was outlined with its industry efforts and artificial intelligence know-how. Google Cloud is also growing its partnership with SAP as it aims to couple its machine learning and artificial intelligence services with SAP’s S4/HANA and C4/HANA. Google Cloud acquired Looker to bolster its analytics.
Its major clients are such as eBay, Snap, and HSBC. Google Cloud platform is working towards increasing its entire addressable space and offer a potential distinction from the other Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings.
Google Cloud offers a variety of tools such as Compute Engine, App Engine, Container Engine, Cloud Storage and Big Query to ensure consistent performance and management. It also offers elastic infrastructure, disaster recovery, DevOps and big data.
- Annualized as-a-service run rate:$11.7 billion
IBM Cloud has its own public cloud, offers more than 170 services, and supports all the cloud delivery models – IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS. It can deliver everything from analytics to Watson to quantum computing to cloud integration. It has required products & services supporting Internet of Things, cognitive computing, blockchain, bare metal hosting, DevOps tools, container deployments, serverless computing, machine learning, and HPC. For example, IBM Cloud’s Bluemix developing solution has a wide range of SaaS management tools.
IBM Cloud allows for seamless integration and better cybersecurity. It is integrated and managed by a single system, Big Blue – a management console, which can be controlled via the web portal, API or mobile apps. It offers full server customization so that users do not have to pay for features that they never use.
In the initial stage, it offers ‘Lite’ tier – means IBM cloud offers services with no time limit, will not ask for credit card details and includes 256MB of Cloud Foundry Memory. After this, you can ‘Pay as you Go’ – pay for what you use.
In 2018, IBM launched OpenScale for AI along with many multi-cloud tools which are the rationale for IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat for $34 billion.
Alibaba Cloud Services
- Annual revenue run rate: $4.5 billion at the beginning of 2019
Alibaba Cloud Services, a business unit of Alibaba Group, leading cloud providers in China, offers integrated IaaS and PaaS of global cloud computing services. It has created a global footprint with 56 availability zones across more than 200 countries and over 1500 CDN Nodes worldwide of 19 regions.
It has launched an artificial intelligence partnership with Intel, acquired Data Artisans which develops Apache Flink framework for real-time data processing. Its relationships with Salesforce and SAP clearly show its intention of global expansion.
Some of the benefits of Alibaba cloud services are
- Smart Regulations
- Online and Offline Integration
- Integrated Management
- Business Expansion
- Manage and monitor Business Operations
- Security and Compliance
- Risk Management
Battle of the Evolving SAAS Giants
It’s no more IaaS or PaaS.
Demand for SaaS cloud providers highlights how vendors are changing their cloud strategies. This makes cloud classification further difficult!
Interesting Fact: In Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant Survey for IaaS, Oracle made the cut!
One can clearly see how Oracle though a software- and database-as-a-service company making efforts to automate the cloud and next-gen infrastructure. Salesforce acquired MuleSoft to add an integration spin to the cloud strategy. SAP and Workday are betting on their cloud ecosystem by offering innovative solutions and recognizable products from HR to the fiancé industry.
Here’s a quick preview of some more cloud service providers which are gaining popularity.
- Kamatera provides a low-maintenance and high-performance cloud infrastructure services as low as $4.
- phoenixNAP delivered on an opex-friendly model, offers data security cloud, virtual private data center, managed private cloud, public cloud, advanced backup, and disaster recovery.
- ScienceSoft provides SaaS applications running on AWS / Azure.
- Adobe offers Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Experience Cloud, and Adobe Document Cloud.
- VMware vCloud Air is a public cloud platform and is a leader in virtualization and Cloud Infrastructure.
- Rackspace Cloud provides hosting web applications, Cloud Files, Cloud Block Storage, Cloud Backup, Databases and Cloud Servers.
- Red Hat Open Shift is an Open and Hybrid Cloud technology used by developers to develop, deploy, host and delivers the applications quickly.
- Salesforce cloud computing comprises multiple cloud services like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud to offer CRM, ERP, customer service, sales, mobile applications, and marketing to its customers.
- Using Verizon Cloud, one can maintain enterprise workloads with strong security, data integrity, speed, and reliability.
- Navisite offers cloud infrastructure services, cloud desktop solutions, and cloud hosting services to facilitate its users in improving disaster recovery and reliability.
- Dropbox helps small businesses to maintain documents virtually on remote cloud servers.
- Egnyte provides a hybrid cloud way and an automatic syncing feature.
- ServiceNow is focusing on refining IT service management (ITSM) and process management.
- Digital Realty’s Service Exchange can deliver hybrid cloud solutions.
- Cloudways has partnered with AWS, Google Cloud, DigitalOcean, Vultr and Linode and helps in building applications using PHP, Laravel, WordPress, and Magento.
- DigitalOcean is more than just a virtual machine and provides offers add-on storage, security, and monitoring capabilities to enterprises.
- MassiveGrid Offers fast & reliable Network Infrastructure using Virtual and Dedicated Private Clouds
- Using LiquidWeb, you can launch websites without the need for cPanel or server management.
- Using OpenNebula, you can manage heterogeneously distributed data center infrastructures.
- Pivotal Cloud Foundry is a specially designed tool for zero-downtime deployments.
- CloudSigma is a flexible virtual private server hosting solutions.
- Dell Cloud provides a cloud platform, cloud-enabled infrastructure, models, and serves in a single place.
- HPE‘s private cloud solutions support OpenStack to partner with other cloud providers, such as Rackspace and with AWS and Microsoft Azure to provide public cloud & hybrid cloud offerings.
- Equinix Cloud leverages its global network to provide hybrid cloud options.
Selecting a Cloud Service Provider
I conclude here by saying, choose a cloud service that best suits your organization and that helps to achieve your business goals. You can keep a few key points in mind:
- Organization’s budget for affording the cloud service
- Customer/Client Preference of service provider
- Employee Training Program Cost
- A cloud service provider who can support your region
- Track record of the provider in terms of stability/uptime/reliability
Choose carefully, wisely!